Let’s get (Geo)physical!

If you were in Calderstones Park yesterday you may have seen something quite different happening by the Mansion House.

A hardy gang of Reader volunteers braved the changeable March weather and the inquisitiveness of local dogs to carry out our geophysical survey – the first physical part of our Big Dig!

Eight volunteers of all ages turned up to our geophysics sessions which were led by Dr Mark Adams from the Museum of Liverpool who gave us a crash course in how geophysics works before leading us to the great outdoors for a hands-on magnetometer session.

Laying out the grid using the tried and tested 'bamboo cane' method.
Laying out the grid using the tried and tested ‘bamboo cane’ method.

Geophysics is the technology to look under the ground without having to dig. It involves using specialised equipment to send signals into the ground and then record what they detect. It takes a long time as each area has to be taken in small ½ – 1 metre steps before a computer crunches all the data to produce an image.

The volunteers helped to plan and lay out a grid, mark the area to be surveyed and then took turns in traversing the ground taking readings. Mark then explained how to use the theodolite to gain a reference for laying the grid over a map.

Just off camera is a volunteer desperately chasing dogs with metal collars away from the sensitive equipment!
Just off camera is a volunteer desperately chasing dogs with metal collars away from the sensitive equipment!
Dr Mark Adams shows the volunteers how theodolites work.
Dr Mark Adams shows the volunteers how theodolites work.

And the results are…

…well you’ll have to wait a teeny bit for that!

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